As we’re sure you know, finding a brand of foundation that matches your skin type and your skin color is difficult enough, but when your skin tone is on the extreme end of the color spectrum, the search gets even harder.
Pale skin, light skin, fair skin, peachy skin, yellow skin…
Combination skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, dry skin… Yeah, we know what it feels like, too.
We have searched, tried, tested and researched in order to simplify your search for the best foundation for pale skin, and in our guide below, we’ll present you with the results.
How to Choose a Foundation for Your Skin Tone
Here are a few things to take into consideration before you choose:
- Your Undertone. When it comes to choosing a foundation, you need to know your undertone in order to choose the right match for you. Do you consider yourself as one of these maybe?
- Cool: You have pink, red or blue undertones.
- Warm: You have yellow, peachy or golden undertones.
- Neutral: You have a balance of both warm and cool undertones.
When in doubt, visit your local beauty expert to have them help you determine, or you can try the “jewelry” hack and see whether gold jewelry compliments your complexion more (which pops on those of you with warm undertones) or silver jewelry (which looks better with cool undertones).
- Foundation or Tinted Moisturizer. For heavier coverage, a liquid foundation is usually best, but if you prefer lighter coverage that also provides you with tons of skin nourishing benefits, then a tinted moisturizer might be the right choice for you.
Prepare for Trial and Error
It definitely takes time to identify everything your skin needs, from type of formula for your skin type to the perfect color match that makes you look like you wake up that beautiful every single morning.
Here are a few tips to help you ensure that you are choosing the best foundation for pale skin:
- Test in Sunlight. Artificial lighting in the stores is a big no-no when it comes to the final verdict. Test on your face, not on your hand, and then head outside or near a window where natural light is spilling in to see if it is a true match for you.
- Have a Professional Do Your Makeup. If you’re worried about spending a ton of money on products that don’t work and that will end up going to waste, it’s probably worth the investment to have a professional makeup artist do your makeup.
They will help you narrow down the color choices and the product choices based on your skin type, and it also allows you to try a product without having to purchase it. If you’re not satisfied, search for the best alternatives to those products to help you find the right one.
Look for Brands with a Wide Range of Colors
Usually, brands with less than 10 color choices are the most difficult ones to color match.
Those of you who are still trying to identify your undertone should definitely opt for a brand that has more than 10 shades to choose from in order to help you find the ideal match for your skin tone.
Liquid or Powder?
Yet another factor to help you choose the best foundation for fair skin is whether or not you want a liquid or a powder foundation.
- Liquid. Standard liquid foundations will offer you more coverage, but as we mentioned above, a BB cream or a CC cream might be an alternative if you don’t want a heavy look.
Liquids work well on all shades, not just pale and fair skin tones. If you prefer to use a liquid foundation, make sure that you’re using the correct primer and the right foundation for your skin type in order to achieve the best results, and remember: finding the right combination of the two can take some time!
- Powder. Some powders risk you looking too much like Casper the Ghost, so be careful with them.
You can choose from loose powders (great for achieving a matte look) or pressed powder (which is great for touch-ups throughout the day or for those of you with normal skin that wears pressed powders well).
If you have pale, oily skin, be careful with powders, as they can tend to look cakey.
Our Top Picks
1. Clinique Even Better Makeup
With 30 shades to choose from, you’re bound to find a perfect match to your fair skin tone, whether you have warm undertones, cool undertones or you’re somewhere in the middle.
The formula is targeted for those with dry, combination skin to combination/oily skin, so if you have fair skin and you’d like to even out your skin tone, diminish age spots and protect your skin with a little SPF 15, then this is probably the perfect match for you.
Above in our table is the Alabaster color, but if that’s not the right color for you, have no fear.
Here are the rest of the shades they offer:
- 30 shades
- Ideal for most skin types
- Reduces age spots
- Decent SPF rating
- Blends very well
- Medium to full coverage
- Color chart seems to be a bit off
2. bareMinerals MATTE Foundation
If you’re going for a matte look, then look no further than bareMinerals.
They have fewer colors in the lighter shades than Clinique, but one of the unique things about bareMinerals is that it is easy to blend with the in-between skin tone colors.
Here is their shade range in the lights.
This is also a great product for those of you with sensitive skin. It doesn’t contain any parabens, fillers, binders or synthetic chemicals and even if you have oily skin, this product can help reduce the amount of oil shine if you have mild oil issues.
Make sure to purchase their Flawless Application Brush if you don’t already have it, along with Mineral Veil as a smooth setting powder.
- Great matte finish
- Suitable for blending with in-between skin tones
- Good for sensitive skin
- Good for oily skin
- Minimizes the appearance of pores
- Contains harsh ingredients
3. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation Makeup
If you’re on a budget and you have normal to oily skin, then Maybelline’s Fit Me! liquid foundation might be the right choice for you.
Just as the product claims, it will provide you with a smooth, matte finish without the thick, heavy feel. It is formulated with micro-powders that help control the shine and smooth out your pores (or “blur” them, as Maybelline describes it.)
Out of all of the drugstore brands, we have to say that this is definitely ideal if you prefer a liquid foundation and you have oily skin. It really does a great job at keeping the oil under control!
Here are their shades:
- Good for normal and oily skin
- Thin and lightweight
- Smooth out pores
- Reduce shininess
- Many shades
- Stains clothes
- Does not provide full coverage
4. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
If you are looking for a very light foundation that is really more of a moisturizer than anything else, this Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is a great option to consider. However, be aware that it is not much of a foundation per se, as its primary purpose is hydration. That said, this moisturizer contains many beneficial ingredients to help keep your skin hydrated and moisturized.
Keep in mind that this Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is meant to be used in place of foundation, so in a sense, you might consider it a foundation after all.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is ideal if you want a very dewy finish that makes it look like you are not wearing any makeup at all. It results in a very natural and radiant look with a magnificent glow. Furthermore, Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is very lightweight, so you won’t feel it on your face.
This is a tinted moisturizer, so it will make pale skin look just a little bit darker, something you may want. Now, that being said, this product only comes in three colors, so if they don’t match your skin, you may need to look for something else.
You may also like how Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is loaded with antioxidants and vitamins, which help tighten your skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and may even help clear up some acne.
That said, be aware that this moisturizer is very light, so it won’t really cover any skin imperfections. To end things off on a positive note, Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer has SPF 20 sun protection.
- Good sun protection
- Very lightweight
- Ideal for hydrating dry skin
- Contains many vitamins and skin-benefiting ingredients
- It can be used in place of foundation
- No real coverage
- Only 3 shades available